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Women on the color line : evolving stereotypes and the writings of George Washington Cable, Grace King, Kate Chopin / Anna Shannon Elfenbein.

By: Elfenbein, Anna Shannon, 1946-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1989Description: xiv, 195 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0813911699; 9780813911694.Subject(s): American fiction -- Louisiana -- History and criticism | American fiction -- White authors -- History and criticism | Cable, George Washington, 1844-1925 -- Characters -- Women | King, Grace Elizabeth, 1852-1932 -- Characters -- Women | Chopin, Kate, 1850-1904 -- Characters -- Women | Authors, American -- Homes and haunts -- Louisiana | Stereotypes (Social psychology) in literature | African American women in literature | Racially mixed people in literature | Passing (Identity) in literature | Louisiana -- Intellectual life | Louisiana -- In literature | Creoles in literature | 11030 fiction in English p0030 writers women American 1830-1900 p0030 special subjects q1030 women 60030 critical studiesDDC classification: 813/.4/09352042 LOC classification: PS266.L8 | E44 1989Other classification: 18.06 | HT 1691 | HT 4305 | 17.87
Contents:
The "tragic octoroon" -- The Louisiana milieu -- The genteel tradition -- Cable's rise -- "'Tite Poulette" -- The grandissimes -- Madame Delphine -- King's realism -- "Madrilene" and "Bonne Maman" -- "Monsieur Motte" -- "The little convent girl" -- Chopin's revelations -- "Desiree's baby" -- La Belle Zoraide" -- "At the 'Cadian ball" and "The storm" -- The awakening.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
PS266 .L8 E44 1989 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001975796

Bibliography: p. 163-186.

Includes index.

The "tragic octoroon" -- The Louisiana milieu -- The genteel tradition -- Cable's rise -- "'Tite Poulette" -- The grandissimes -- Madame Delphine -- King's realism -- "Madrilene" and "Bonne Maman" -- "Monsieur Motte" -- "The little convent girl" -- Chopin's revelations -- "Desiree's baby" -- La Belle Zoraide" -- "At the 'Cadian ball" and "The storm" -- The awakening.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Elfenbein (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale) explores the connection between racism and sexism as mutually supportive systems essential to white male supremacy in the American South, systems previously attacked by people as different as Ida B. Wells, who conducted anti-lynching campaigns in the early 20th century, and Lillian Smith, who made this topic the focus of her autobiography Killers of the Dream (1949). Using the feminist strategy "re-vision," Elfenbein reveals the previously unidentified "dialectic concerning gender, race, and class" in the works of George Washington Cable, Grace King, and Kate Chopin. Specifically, she demonstrates how these writers "attempted to comprehend the dissolution of their world through fiction that returns repeatedly, almost compulsively, to the antebellum stereotype of the tragic octoroon'." The New Orleans locale of these writers' lives and fiction makes their selection as the focus of this analysis particularly apt. The history of the settlement of and subsequent immigration into New Orleans makes that city unique in its interracial relations (e.g., quadroon balls). Elfenbein demonstrates how Cable, King, and Chopin "transgressed a literary taboo" by refusing to succumb to the genteel hypocrisy regarding miscegenation, which was particularly strong in the period 1870-1900, when they were publishing. After an occasionally repititious and circuitous first chapter, Elfenbein gains strength as she moves into textual analysis in the next three chapters, offering significant new insights into the work of these three writers. Regrettably, however, her text fails to make any use of the significant scholarship on southern women, black and white, published since 1985, by such scholars as Minrose Gwin, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Jacqueline Jones, Thomas Bonner, and Deborah Gray White. Nonetheless, the book is strongly recommended for academic libraries. -E. R. Baer, Washington College

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